Michel Barnier By The Jacques Delors Institute (CC-BY-2.0)

By The Jacques Delors Institute (CC-BY-2.0)


Michel Barnier will insist that the UK accepts permanent oversight from the ECJ post-Brexit.

The EU chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, will demand that the European Court of Justice has the permanent right to have the final say in any post-Brexit EU/UK disputes.

"The European Union will insist that the Brexit agreement include the European Court of Justice providing permanent judicial oversight over future EU-U.K. relations, its chief Brexit negotiator said Monday." Reports Politico.

In a speech at a reception held by the German engineering association VDMA, Barnier said that without an agreement on governance, any EU/UK treaty would have no credibility and that the only route to frictionless trade was via a Norway-Plus type deal, which would entail us having to take all EU laws, EU freedom of movement and be in a customs union preventing us from making other trade deals.

Barnier also said that he understood Theresa May's red-lines set out in her Mansion House speech about leaving the customs union and ending ECJ oversight but, he said, the UK has to change its red lines.

"We need an agreement on governance and the role of the Court of Justice." He said.

Well I have already agreed with 17.4 million other UK voters that the ECJ has zero control over the UK after Brexit.

Now to EU fraud, what I want to know is why the following has not hit the national press.

Last week the European Investment Bank, the EIB, told 'euobserver' it was not going to disclose a report written by the EU anti-fraud Agency, OLAF, about how the German carmaker Volkswagen was able to obtain a €400 million loan from the EIB without disclosing it was making vehicles with diesel emission cheating software.

In fact the EIB has said it will not even give out partial access to a redacted version of the report.

The Finnish Green MEP Heidi Hautala said that this decision was outrageous and not acceptable. Especially as the EU parliament had voted back in February that the report should be made available.

Compare that to the UK where parliament could force those Brexit impact assessments to be made available.

So, whatever happened to all that wonderful EU transparency we were told about? And where are the cries of outrage in the UK, especially from the EU-loving Greens? All I can see here is EU institutions and manufacturers covering each others' backs, while ignoring a toothless EU parliament.

And now our own House of Lords has decided that the very parliament they sit and vote in does not have the capability of looking after the fundamental rights of its own citizens.

In an extraordinary vote they supported an amendment to the EU Withdrawal Bill that would keep the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in force in the UK after Brexit.

Why is it that Remoaners have such a low opinion of everything UK? Why do they believe that we have to be permanently controlled from somewhere else?

And I can hear the cries from Remoaners already of 'Brexiteers don't want us to have human rights'.

Well, my answer to them is that I have a human right to decide via the ballot box who runs the country I live in and 17.4 million of us voted out of the EU and that means the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights as well.

Also, the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is not the same as the European Convention on Human Rights.

For a start, the signatories to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union are the institutions and member states of the EU.

And secondly the UK does have a sort of opt out under the British and Polish protocol anyway, which means that dropping it is the cleanest option. Just clinging on to it because it sounds fluffy is not the best way to go about law-making.

And government minister Lord Keen said that the charter only applies when directly applying EU laws will not apply after we leave, he also said that applying what will be a foreign body of law after Brexit would be 'the greatest constitutional outrage since 1689'.

Of course, Remainers will want us still signed up to it because they think it will keep the EU somehow in charge. They do need their security blanket I suppose.

And back to the Irish border. The Times reports that EU negotiators have admitted that their so-called 'back-stop plan' to prevent a hard border is flawed and could undermine the EU single market.

"In a confidential diplomatic note seen by The Times, the European Commission and other EU negotiators expressed fears that because the plan covers only customs checks on goods entering Northern Ireland from Britain, the province could still become a lucrative loophole in the single market. This could allow Northern Ireland to become a hub for businesses wanting to bypass EU rules, with no border checks to stop them exporting goods and services to the Continent." It said.

So, let's now take a serious look at the UK proposals shall we, instead of dismissing them out of hand for political reasons.

Finally, a bit of news that you may not have stumbled upon is the state of the nation's finances.

The Office for National Statistics published a provisional report on the UK deficit and national debt today.

According to the ONS the country borrowed a net figure of £42.6 billion during the financial year April 2017 to March 2018.

That is £3.5 billion less than the previous financial year, which is £2.6 billion less than the Office for Budget Responsibility forecast, is the lowest annual borrowing since 2007 and we had the lowest March borrowing since way back in 2004.

But the £42.6 billion net borrowing for the year will be added to the overall national net debt as we start the new financial year with a zero annual balance.

And we end this financial year with a net debt of £1.798 trillion! So we've still got a long way to go!

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